HELIX IMAGE (Air) power cable update - from my earlier post dated 02-14-2021 8:05am above
So the wire arrived this week for my 2 x 16 gauge version of the Helix IMAGE (Air) power cable and I’ve had the cables in the system for a couple of days burning in but the improvements where noticeable from the first track.
The old cables had 1 x 12 gauge BARE Neotech UP=OCC solid copper inside Teflon tube with cotton sleeve.
The new cables have 2 x 16 gauge BARE Neotech UP=OCC solid copper twisted together inside Teflon tube with cotton sleeve. The Teflon tube was the same diameter as on the 1 x 12 gauge version
i.e. PTFE 10 Tubing - Thin Wall Teflon Tubing In A Variety Of Gauges - (takefiveaudio.com)
Since I was just upgrading the existing cables the Neutral remain unchanged - 2 x 12 gauge silver plated mil-spec stranded copper
Well, the Schroeder Double Barrel approach has triumphed yet again !
The improved articulation of the music was the most noticeable, with a more expansive image, where the placement of the instruments just seemed to be very precise, with pinpoint accuracy. The old 1 x 12 power cables were very good, just not THIS good.
There now seems to be more layers I had not noticed before and on some tracks I now hear little things e.g. bell strikes that I had not noticed before - so clarity had improved also.
As I listened, there was a nice smoothness to the upper end, especially the violins. The mid’s had a nice natural fullness to them and the bass went deeper but again with even more textures than previous iterations of the cables.
By comparison, the older cables makes me think they were perhaps a little on the "Clinical" side, because I very much like this new warmth.
Will the 2 x 16 gauge version work for Amps?
- right now, this appears to improve the low end a little
- however, the improvements over the existing 1 x 12 gauge version were no where near as apparent as with the source components
- I think I will move to a 2 x 14 gauge version for the amp to see if it yields any significant improvements.
The difference in findings between the source components and the amp is no real surprise.
Since my Bryston B135 amp has seperate transformers/power supplies for PRE-Amp and L & R channels. Whereas the power supplies in my source components are not of the same ablity.
I chose 2 x 16 gauge simply because it fit into this Teflon Tube that I had on hand
So why does 2 x 16 work better than 1 x 12 ???
Here’s an extract from the article in this link... electricity - Do electrons jump from one wire to another if they are of different materials? - Physics Stack Exchange
If electrons were not able to flow between two different conductors in contact with one another, we would not be able to make any connections in an electrical circuit that feeds loads. So obviously they can flow between conductors in contact with one another (twisted,or otherwise).
The term "jump" invokes the wrong impression that electrons need to leap through the air from one conductor to another, although as explained below arcing is possible at the conductor interface.
Although electrons don’t have to "jump" between the conductors, it is more difficult for electrons to cross between two physically different conductors due to microscopic irregularities at the contact surfaces with points of contact and areas of non contact. Overall, this gives rise to what is referred to as contact resistance at the interface. Contact resistance, which is greater than the resistance of the conductor themselves,
So taking this into account, even IF the two wires ARE touching it is "almost as if" they were insulated from each other until they reach the ends, where the solder provide a better "path" for electrons to move across
So then, with two strands of wire twisted together - the impedance of the "conductor" is half that of a single wire.
But the conundrum here is - why aren’t 4 wires even better?
I have tried 4 x 18 gauge VH Audio UPP-OCC copper in AirLok insulation (effectively a 12 gauge cable) and it was not as good as the 1 x 12 gauge in Teflon, but of all the combinations tried 2 x 12 seems superior - strange ???
Getting the very best out of the Helix IMAGE (Air) Power cables is very much dependent on the components in the system.
You could opt for a single "architecture" e.g. 2 x 14 gauge Bare wire inside Teflon for all power cables.
You may opt to insert each wire inside it’s own teflon tube or twist them together inside a single tube
Personally - i am going to stick with the 2 x 16 gauge in a single tube for Source components.
And perhaps a 2 x 14 gauge bare wire twisted together inside this larger teflon tube Convoluted Teflon Tubing - Convoluted Teflon Tubing Flexes Without Kinking - (takefiveaudio.com)
As always - I will keep you updated on the outcome
But try the Double Shotgun method - it works - REALLY WELL !!!
Cheers - Steve